Biran, Michal 1965-

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BIRAN, Michal 1965-

PERSONAL: Born 1965. Education: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, B.A., 1989, M.A., 1993, Ph.D., 1999.

ADDRESSES: Office—Institute for Asian and African Studies, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus, 91905, 74/9 Ben Zion Dinur St., Jerusalem, 93716 Israel. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER: Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel, instructor in history.

MEMBER: AAS, Mongolia Society, Middle East Mediavalists, American Society for Central Asian Studies.

WRITINGS:

Qaidu and the Rise of the Independent Mongol State in Central Asia, Curzon (Surrey, England), 1997.

SIDELIGHTS: Michal Biran is a scholar who specializes in the Mongol Empire, the largest empire in the history of the world, that stretched from China to Persia (modern Iran) under the leadership of Genghis Khan. In her 1997 book Qaidu and the Rise of the Independent Mongol State in Central Asia, Biran focuses on the short-lived Mongol state established in Central Asia by Qaidu, a grandson of the Great Khan's successor. Times Literary Supplement reviewer David Morgan noted that little has been written about this state because of the lack of primary sources and the relative scarcity of scholars proficient in Persian, Arabic, and Chinese; all of these languages are necessary to evaluate the secondary sources on this subject, comprised of contemporary documents written in neighboring, usually hostile, states. In writing about Qaidu's rise to power in central Mongolia, the relationship maintained between his state and neighboring states, the management of the state, and its collapse after his death in 1301, Biran "has done an excellent job," Morgan noted. "She has the necessary languages as well as a willingness to apply the equally essential critical judgment of her sources." The importance of Qaidu and the Rise of the Independent Mongol State in Central Asia is that it offers the most comprehensive portrait so far available of a state that became "the foundation of the remarkably enduring Chaghatai khanate of Central Asia," Morgan concluded.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Journal of the American Oriental Society, January-March, 2000, Gyorgy Kara, review of Qaidu and the Rise of the Independent Mongol State in Central Asia, p. 139.

Times Literary Supplement, January 22, 1999, p. 33.

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